A government agency will set up a working group to improve financial literacy amongst Indigenous Canadians, a population which they say faces “unique barriers to financial well-being.”
“It is important for all Canadians to have the knowledge, skills and confidence to navigate a rapidly changing financial marketplace,” said Lucie Tedesco, the commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, in a news release on Tuesday.
“I anticipate tremendous cooperation and partnership as this working group lays a foundation for improving the financial well-being of Indigenous Peoples.”
Need for community-driven programs
The working group is being set up to work on new programs and research areas, as well as supporting community-driven financial literacy programs for Indigenous communities.
The group will be co-chaired by Simon Brascoupé, vice president, Education and Membership, of AFOA Canada (formerly the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada), an organization that describes themselves on their website as focusing on “the capacity development and day-to-day needs of those Indigenous professionals who are working in all areas of finance, management, band administration, leadership and program management,” and Jane Rooney, Financial Literacy Leader at the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.
“I am pleased to begin collaborating with the working group and learning from members’ experience and insights,” Rooney said in the news release. “I look forward to working with members of the working group to develop and deliver initiatives to enhance the financial well-being of Indigenous Peoples across Canada.”
Inuit participation to be confirmed
The working group aims to have representation from First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
As of Wednesday, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada told Eye on the Arctic they were still waiting to hear back from invited Inuit and Métis organizations to confirm their participation.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada is primarily responsible for making sure consumer projection measures are respected amongst federally regulated financial entities, but it also works to educate consumers and promote financial education.
Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca
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